Catechism of the Catholic Church
Respect for the
integrity of creation
2415 The seventh
commandment [thou shalt not steal] enjoins respect for the integrity of
creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined
for the common good of past, present, and future humanity. Use of the
mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced
from respect for moral imperatives. Man's dominion over inanimate and other
living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by
concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to
come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.
2416 Animals are God's
creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere
existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We
should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or
St. Philip Neri treated animals.
2417 God entrusted
animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. 197
Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be
domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific
experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains
within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human
2418 It is contrary to
human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise
unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief
of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the
affection due only to persons.
Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople
June 10, 2002.
God the Creator, Peace with All Creation
Pope John Paul II, World Peace Day, January 1, 1990.
Global Climate Change:
A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good
States Conference of Catholic Bishops
June 15, 2001
Conference of Catholic Bishops
November 14, 1991
God's Creation Project
A Program for Environmental Justice
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1993.
The Columbia River Watershed:
Caring for Creation and the Common Good
A Pastoral Letter by the Catholic Bishops of the Region. 2001.
At Home in the
Web of Life:
A Pastoral Message on Sustainable Communities in Appalachia
Catholic Bishops of Appalachia, 1996.
This Land is Home to Me
A Pastoral Letter from the Catholic Bishops of Appalachia, 1975
happening to Our Beautiful Land
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, 1988.
A New Earth: An Environmental Challenge
Australian Bishops Conference, 2002.
The Call of Creation: God's Invitation and the
The Natural Environment and Catholic Social Teaching
Catholic Bishops Conference of England
and Wales, 2002.
You Love All That Exists
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2003.
United Methodist Church, 2004.
Garring's Web Site on the Environment
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